Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sweets for my niece

My oldest niece turns 3 on Friday. I can hardly wrap my mind around that. She's growing up so fast, and every time I see her (which is not nearly often enough), she is cuter than the time before.

See, she was cute then:

And cute now:

Since I can't eat cake with her on her birthday, I wanted to bake her something (God bless her, she has her aunt's sweet tooth). But I needed something that could be sent from the 114-degree desert.

I remembered my Mom telling me how she ate up one of the treats I sent back to my family in Ohio for Christmas. It's one of my staples. It works well for all different holidays and occasions, and it also happens to be extremely easy: White chocolate-covered mini-pretzel sticks (with sprinkles, for personality):

All you do is buy a package of white chocolate baking "bark." Melt it, a square at at time, in the microwave (in a microwave-safe bowl, of course), for about 15 seconds (longer, if needed). Be careful not to overheat it; it burns easily.

Then just dip the little pretzel sticks in the chocolate one at a time, and lay them on wax paper to set. Dust some sprinkles on them while they're still setting.

You can imagine all the possible sprinkle combinations: red and green for Christmas, red and blue for the fourth of July, red for Valentine's day. I wanted these to be festive for her birthday, so I used red, orange, green and blue.

Then I packed them up in a cute little tin, added some stickers (she likes Mickey), and voila! Instant birthday treat.

I have already warned my brother and sister-in-law that the pretzels might arrive in Cleveland in a melted-and-then-reformed mess. My sister-in-law thinks Cara will like them anyway. That's the great thing about three-year-olds.



Right on all counts. Melted and reformed into a pretzal/frosting block. Separated them with a butter knife and she still digs them. She especially likes the orange and red sprinkled ones.

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